Lent Face Value: Days 25-33

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“And I love her so, I wouldn’t trade her for gold. I’m walking on moonbeams, I was born with a silver spoon”
– Gold by Interference as seen in “Once”

Hello lovelies. You know what I’m going to say: SORRY for not writing for aaaages. At least it seems like ages anyway. Honestly? I haven’t wanted to write anything because I haven’t really had anything to say. Inspiration has been a bit sparse to be honest, so no real promises that this post is going to be one hell of a cracker. But anyway, I wanted to talk about quite a few things so I’m hoping this won’t bore you senseless and that some of it is Jesus because, well, it’s always better that way. J

Last week I went to see Once the musical with my lovely best friend. It was my Christmas present and it was THE BEST musical I have ever seen. If you get the chance, watch the movie first, with the lovely Glen Hansard (ginger AND Irish? Good work, God)  and Marketa Irglova, then go and see the musical. Spent most of it welling up at the songs because everyone was so talented and it was so moving and WOW. It was fab. It was also really helpful for me because I just felt so loved and wanted. I won’t get all mushy, but I didn’t really understand why my lovely girl cares as much as she does and to be honest I still don’t. But actually? That’s okay. I don’t need to understand or know, if I asked Jesus the same question I don’t think I’d understand his response to be honest. (Anyone know that song? “a sinner, condemned, unclean” – why would he want to love that? Goodness knows. Only God does – ha, see what I did there – and I think that’s all I need to know).

Sometimes guys, love just happens, and sometimes, you just have to accept it. I’ve been feeling really low and left out of things these last few weeks, for lots of reasons and for lots of different silly Annie stuff. I haven’t wanted to feel loved. I’ve been struggling with prayer and reading my bible, so having Lauren take me out and spoil me because she loves me was so beautiful but at first quite difficult for the sad part of me to deal with. It’s been the same this week. I’m away with my family on holiday and they’re all being complete babes as usual. Sometimes I don’t deal with it well at all and do my own thing to escape from it all. It doesn’t make any sense does it? But most of all, I’ve been hiding away from Jesus and that is NOT okay. No wonder I’ve been worrying about not wearing any makeup (more on that later). I don’t really get the silver spoon bit of the lyrics I’ve chosen up there, but I know that Jesus wouldn’t trade me for gold. If he loves this sinner; condemned and unclean, I don’t think I can really run away from that. He comes to meet me in my sadness and my low moods and ridiculous view of the world when this happens and he just loves me.

I’ve been trying to do some reading of my bible and, as she usually does in times of crisis, Hagar comes out. I was reading through Genesis (funnily enough as that is where Hagar can be found):

“Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink” – Genesis 21:19

What has this got to do with anything? Like really? I didn’t really take much from it if I’m totally honest with you, I was only reading it so that I could say I’d done some bible reading… hmm. I flicked through to John instead to another one of my favourite passages, where Jesus is casually chatting at the well with the Samaritan woman (bit of a theme running through this isn’t there? God loves the ladies) and I read this:

“Jesus answered her: ‘if you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water’”

“The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water” – John 4:10, 15

Again, WHAT? I don’t know what you think about this from first glance but I really felt I met with Jesus reading this. I made some cheeky connection which has probably already been made but OH WELL, the student theologian in me was DANCING: I think Jesus wants to meet me at the well in my life.

Erm, what Annie?

I look at Hagar and I look at the Samaritan woman and I see some serious similarities:

They were both outsiders within their community. Hagar was Egyptian, and a slave; the Samaritan woman was, well, a Samaritan, and also a woman with a bit of promiscuous past.

They are both in need of water. Ishamel is probably going to die, and Hagar can’t even bear to look at him (Genesis 21:16), and the Samaritan woman is doing her daily trip to the well.

They are both alone. Hagar has just been sent out, and the Samaritan woman goes to get her water at midday, which would have been the hottest part of the day when no one was out (John 4:6). Hagar was alone because she was pushed, but the Samaritan woman was alone out of choice because of what people would have thought of her.

Just wondering, but what do you reckon Hagar thought people were thinking about her?

And again, how many of US wonder what others are thinking about US?

I guess the connection is kinda weak, but I’m not too fussed. I just felt a bit like Hagar and a bit like the Samaritan woman recently, in that I’m thirsty for Jesus and I didn’t even know it. Hagar is alone and tries to fight this out on her own – to the point that she can’t even stay with her son because she can’t do anything to help him. The Samaritan woman avoided other people. I do this ALL THE TIME. A nice bit of stubbornness and social retraction and that’s me sorted when I’m a bit miserable.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I really cannot do this without Jesus. He wants to meet me at the well in my life; I don’t know if there is a well I can go to every day or (ooh, get this) a SYMBOL of a well that I go to all the time instead of going to Jesus. There are a few things I can think of, and one of them is makeup. I’ve had a serious craving for makeup the last few weeks so I can feel like Annie again. Jesus tells the Samaritan woman everything about her and in her eyes he’s only just met her. She felt accepted and she felt wanted by Jesus. She felt LOVED. I can feel loved without makeup because Jesus tells me everything I need to know about myself.

He tells me I’m beautiful, and quirky, and a bit odd at times. Probably drink a bit too much tea and definitely eat too much chocolate. But I still have a purpose and everything that he has planned for me is better than anything I have planned for myself. I’ve been worried about my future recently and any kind of place I might have in it. And Jesus just calms me – here comes the link – he gives me a new well with water springing from it.

The new well of water and goodness in my life – a life-saving water. Like the water God gave to Hagar and to Ishmael. God provides. I forget this so much, almost every day. I look at what other people have and think that he’s forgotten me. The last few weeks I’ve been wrestling with this, but I’ve also dealt with it so so much better than I have done in the past, so praise Jesus. I know I have good things in my life, and not because I wear makeup – because I am blessed. I am covered by the water Jesus has given me; life-giving, loving, nurturing. All the things I want my life to be full of – even when its rubbish and the dark stuff settles in. There’s never a drought with Jesus, unless we choose turn the tap off.

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Toula: Why do you love me?

Ian: Because I came alive when I met you.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding, AMAZING FILM WATCH IT NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T! My cracking film reviews aside, whenever I watch this I remember when I’ve questioned this of the most important people in my life – including Jesus. He might not have come alive when he met me – when he made me, but he loved me enough to die for me. Everything else? WHO CARES? Literally, WHO CARES? I’m building my life on Jesus, nothing else matters.

I reckon that all of us have the water that is bad for us. For me at the moment its makeup, which is why I gave it up for Lent in the first place. Sometimes I crave that water and crave the way it makes me feel, but it’s always short-lived. Makeup smudges and makeup runs out. I guess it’s the same with loads of other things; money, clothes, sex, relationships, even church sometimes can feel a bit like that. We go to the building, not to meet Jesus. We get overly involved in whatever rota we’re on and not with the God we’re serving. We look for the love Jesus gives in the relationships we have with other people; the boyfriend who tells you you’re gorgeous or the girlfriend who said she wants to build a life with you. Yes, people mean what they say sometimes and I’m not getting all weird about that or anything, but sometimes things change between people. Sometimes you aren’t asked to be on the rota or you’re not asked out on the date you thought you would be. Sometimes people get over you and sometimes you’re not the first choice. But with Jesus, you always are.

What could be better than that?

I know it’s not exactly been massively makeup focused this time compared to the others. But I just wanted to share, and really? Just to say this: go on, take a sip.

Peace and blessings x 

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